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European food and agriculture in a new paradigm: Can global challenges like climate change be addressed through a farm to fork approach?
In 2018, in the context of the first Think2030 conference, we recognised that “A major transformation of the EU food and agriculture sector is necessary and involves the development of coherent and synergistic policies; a new contract between farmers and society; appropriate governance; alongside new approaches to addressing consumption as well as production”.
This statement was made in a different political and global landscape than we find ourselves in 2020. The European Green Deal (EGD) has been published, including its component strategies linked to the EU agri-food system, such as the Farm to Fork (F2F) and Biodiversity strategies, and in a context of necessary economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts of the pandemic itself are far reaching, beyond the direct impact on health, society and the economy. There has been a renewed interest in a reconnection with local and domestic suppliers and markets, and correlations between human wellbeing and health, with resilience to disease and infection.
All of these factors have put the EU’s agri-food system, the way we produce and consume, at the forefront of discussions around ensuring long-term economic, social and environmental resilience. But has this changed the response in policy and will it change implementation on the ground?
This updated Think2030 paper looks back at the recommendations made in 2018, to see whether they are still relevant today, if they have been addressed, and where greater coherence in policy development is still needed.